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When it comes to running a business, many of us are experts at knowing the products or services that we sell intimately. We know them inside out because we work with them every day. Talking to customers about what we do and landing the next big project by outlining all the benefits of our services or products is a great feeling, but what if we could do it better?

What if there was a way to take customers on a journey – your journey, and let them feel something about your business, not just find out information?

If you really want to engage with your customers in an overly crowded marketplace, taking potential customers on a journey with you is a great way to keep them engaged, entertained and rooting for your business. If you combine these factors as well as triggering an emotive response in a potential customer, you’re onto a winning combination.

How can a business use emotion on their website to help generate more customers?

When it comes to writing marketing material for your business or the products/services you provide, there is one underlying word you always needs to remember:- “Emotion”. Think about all those scenes in great movies you remember over the years or the parts of your favourite books that send tingles down your spine. There is always an underlying emotion attached to these storylines and it’s typically an emotion you easily recognise.

Do you think “Titanic” would have been such a successful movie if it was just a story about a boat sinking? It’s the characters and the chance at love that drives the entire movie to its conclusion.

Whilst you may not be selling something as exciting as star-crossed love, you can still tap into consumer’s underlying emotions to promote your business in a more effective way.

What does the science say about emotions and purchase behaviour?

Understanding that emotions play a large part in driving consumer behaviour is the first thing to understand if you’re going to write great copy for your website that sells. Simply typing out what you do, how long you’ve done it and any awards you might have picked up along the way just isn’t going to cut it in this day and age. To really engage with users, you need to tap into their underlying emotions based around the product or services you sell.

Many customers think using their pros and cons lists or endless hours of research makes the big decisions when it comes time to purchase a product, but the reality is we use our emotions to come to a decision and then use logic to create reasons for that decision (take a look at the tale of two chickens as a great example of this).

If there is a strong emotion tied to a piece of content, it’s much more likely to get eyeballs and keep them on the page. This is why news outlets use terms like ‘outrage, disturbing, scathing, haunted, disastrous, fury, intimate’. The next time you scroll through a news website, take note of the types of words they use and you will find many of the leading headlines will typically have a strong emotion tied to them (mainstream media tends to use negative terms as the age-old adage of ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ still holds true today).

Whilst negative emotions and terms might work well in mainstream media, there is research to show that on social media, the opposite is true. In 2016 Buzzsumo analysed 100 million social media headlines to figure out which headlines had the most engagement and why. As it turns out the headlines that worked best used terms like:-

  • Tears of joy
  • Make you cry
  • Give you goosebumps
  • Is too cute
  • Shocked to see
  • Melt your heart
  • Can’t stop laughing

Think about all those phrases and the feelings attached to them. Joy, sadness, wonder, love, etc – these are all strong emotions that we can use to help deliver our messages in a more thoughtful, engaging way.

How to figure out the emotions your customers are feeling

So now that we know our customers are more likely to make purchase decisions or share your content on social media based on emotions, how do we go about figuring out what emotions are really driving your customer’s buying habits?

Step 1. Define the type of problem they have

When you have a product or service to sell, it always needs to be the Paracetamol to someone’s headache. Figuring out the issues or problems your customers have is the first step in creating better content for your website, social media or advertising campaigns.

Here’s a few examples of everyday products and the headaches customers have that these products could potentially solve.

Product: Ladders
Headache = I need a safe way to reach things at height

Product: Paintball
Headache = I need a way to blow off steam or an original party/bucks night idea

Service: Personal Training
Headache = I want a better-looking body, I want to be able to run around with my kids

Product: Boats
Headache = I need to escape the rat race, I want to enjoy quality family time, I want to go fishing more

Service: Mechanic
Headache = If my car doesn’t work, I can’t pick up the kids, get groceries and I lose my freedom

By understanding your customer’s problems, you can start to tailor a message to solve these problems whilst enveloping emotions to help drive home your points.

Step 2. Define the underlying emotion attached to their headache

Now that you’ve thought about the headaches your potential customers have you need to gain a better understanding of the emotions that are attached to these headaches. It’s important to remember there’s never just one single emotion attached to the reasons people do things – this is why sometimes we need to test different messaging and offers to see what works and what doesn’t. Let’s take a look at some examples:-

Headache: I need a safe way to reach things at height
Underlying emotion = Fear (of pain, breaking limbs, falling), anxiety

Headache: I need a way to blow off steam or an original party/bucks night idea
Underlying emotion = Happiness, surprise, joy, excitement

Headache: I want a better-looking body, I want to be able to run around with my kids
Underlying emotion = Shame, aesthetic appreciation, sexual desire (or to be desirable), envy, determination

Headache: I need to escape the rat race, I want to enjoy quality family time, I want to go fishing more
Underlying emotion: Joy, craving, excitement, envy, nostalgia, triumph

Headache: If my car doesn’t work, I can’t pick up the kids, get groceries and I lose my freedom
Underlying emotion: Fear (of losing freedoms), frustration, shame, anger, indignation

Step 3. Craft your messaging based on the emotions you’ve identified

Now that you’ve figured out the emotions your customers are likely feeling when they’re looking for your product or service, you can start to tailor your communication to target these base feelings and really get your message across. Again, let’s take a look at some examples:-

Ladders [Example headlines]
Example 1: Why risk falling from a height and breaking a limb? Buy an XYZ ladder today.
Example 2: Heights a problem for you? With an XYZ ladder, you can safely climb to where you need to go.

Paintball [Example headlines]
Example 1: If you really want to be the best man at his wedding, surprise him with the thrill of XYZ paintball bucks party.
Example 2: Happiness is getting the opposite team in the crosshairs. Feel the rush today at XYZ paintball.

Personal Training [Example headlines]
Example 1: Be proud of your body and feel happy in your own skin with XYZ personal training.
Example 2: If you bring the motivation, we’ll help you leave with less (or more, depending on if the messaging is for losing weight or gaining muscle).

Boat [Example headlines]
Example 1: Don’t just dream about it. You can be on the water quicker than you think!
Example 2: Escape to the water and feel the freedom of the ocean with an XYZ boat.

Mechanic [Example headlines]
Example 1: Don’t suffer the indignation of catching the unexpected bus, get your car serviced at XYZ mechanics.
Example 2: Picking up the kids can be frustrating at times, but what might happen to them if you couldn’t? Get your car serviced today at XYZ mechanics today for a reliable, safe vehicle.

Step 4. Always tie your messaging back to a commercial outcome

Now that we’ve identified the headaches, the underlying emotions driving those headaches and some messaging based around these emotions, you need to also remember to tie these messages back to your products or services and how they solve the problem your customer is experiencing. There’s no use crafting great headlines and associated content if you’re not going to drive customers to some type of conversion.

The final word…

With all the mediocre and less-than-average website copy, social media posts and marketing messages from hastily put together last-minute strategies online these days, with a little thought and some help from experts like Marketeam, you can really make your website stand out from the crowd and perform in a crowded marketplace.

If you would like to speak with Marketeam about how we can improve your website copy, talk to us today on (07) 3882 3375 or visit our contact page.

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